Analysis City Of God

HUM 200
Winter 2015
PRIMARY DOCUMENT ANALYSIS ASSIGNMENT
The document that I will be scrutinizing and analyzing is called City of God, written by St. Augustine during the periods of 354-430 A.D. Around this time, there were still pagans who were worshiping multiple gods and goddesses, and other sects of Christianity such as Arianism were being practiced. It is important to note that during this period, the Vandals, under the command of their king Alaric, captured the city of Rome. This was a major defeat for the Romans because their empire had now fallen. Before this event, Rome was known as the Eternal City because the Romans believed that the Empire would never fall. This document speaks of those who attributed the ruins of this world, the
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St. Augustine states this about the barbarians, “but many are inflamed with hatred against it, and are so ungrateful to its Redeemer for His signal benefits, as to forget that they would now be unable to utter a single word to its prejudice, had they not found in its sacred places, as they fled from the enemy’s steel, that life in which they now boast themselves”. This quote tells us the lives of the barbarians and how they dealt with the chaos and the fall of the Roman Empire. In addition, the Romans were also very hypocritical in their belief towards the Christian faith. Regarding the Romans, St. Augustine said, “Are not those very Romans, who were spared by the barbarians through their respect for Christ, become enemies to the name of Christ?”. Overall, we see that both the barbarians and the Romans were hypocritical in their faith, and while finding refuge in churches and sanctuaries, knowing that those places held the name of Christ, they were still going against Christ and blaming the Christian God and faith for the fall of the Roman Empire. “They perversely oppose that name under which they fraudulently protected themselves for the sake of enjoying the light of this brief life”. This sums up the idea that while finding protection in the places that held the name of …show more content…
The historical events that I can link with this document are the events which led up to the sack of the Roman Empire. It began with Christianity being accepted as a religion by the Edict of Milan around 313 CE and around 380CE, it was the official state religion in the Roman Empire. Following that, around 360 – 363, the pagan religion of Rome was beginning to fall. These two events influenced St. Augustine to write this masterpiece. It was the rise of Christianity and the fall of paganism which caused much tension between the people in the state of Rome. Around 401-410 CE, this is where we see the Visigoths invade into Italy and in the end, under the rule of Alaric, sack Rome. This began the fall of Rome. In addition to that event, we then have the Vandals which sacked the North of Africa, which cut Rome off Roman grain supply. Following that tragic event, we then have the Huns attack around 440-454 CE, which the Huns threatened Rome, in which Rome paid them off but then attacked. Lastly, around 476 CE, the fall of the Emperor of Rome was removed from office by Odoacer who then ruled Italy. All these events happened during and after the writing of St. Augustine “City of

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